The D.C. area has enough options for milkshakes to satisfy almost anyone’s tastes. There are nostalgic diner-style shakes at Ben’s Chili Bowl, Bob and Edith’s, and Ted’s Bulletin, a whole fruit basket of tropical flavors at York Castle in Rockville, and options for custard shakes at Shake Shack and Alexandria’s beloved Dairy Godmother. The toasted marshmallow milkshake at Good Stuff Eatery is famous around town. Here’s the inside scoop on where you can sip summer’s best treat for the whole year.Read More
Where to Sip Indulgent Milkshakes Around D.C.
Diner classics, Caribbean flavors, and over-the-top toppings
1. York Castle Ice Cream
Rockville, MD 20850
Rockville is home to this Caribbean ice cream shop with a range of tropical fruit flavors. Malt heads should try the Slim Jim, a mix of Guinness ice cream, Malta soda, peanuts, and Horlicks malted milk powder. Or try a shake in flavors like guava, mango, pineapple, soursop, passionfruit, or lychee blended with skim milk.
2. University of Maryland Dairy
College Park, MD 20740
The University of Maryland has made ice cream for more than 80 years. Dairy science students used to do the honors, but now dining services staff oversees the process. The ice cream is 14 percent butterfat, which qualifies it as premium. The Dairy offers a whopping 15 specialty flavors, plus 10 traditional flavors like butter pecan, mint chip, and pistachio. Students in the know will ask for a shake made with chocolate milk.
3. Sticky Fingers Bakery
Vegans rejoice: There’s a milkshake for you, too. Sticky Fingers blends its shakes with soy or coconut milk ice cream. Options include creamsicle, peanut butter fudge, espresso, cookies n' shake, vanilla brownie and more.
4. The Diner
Nothing says “diner” like an old-fashioned milkshake. Adams Morgan’s ever-popular Diner has flavors ranging from standard vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry to a Peanut’s Revenge with peanut butter, chocolate sauce, and vanilla ice cream.
5. Ben's Chili Bowl
Come to the U Street institution for the half-smokes and chili bowls, and stay for the hand-spun, “thick n’ creamy” milkshakes. Order flavors like vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cherry, coffee, maple, or Oreo. Whipped cream, cherries, and additional toppings are available.
6. Thomas Sweet Ice Cream Co.
This mini-chain has long been a Georgetown classic. Order a shake in one of the numerous ice cream or frozen yogurt flavors available by the scoop. The Oreo shake comes highly recommended.
7. Trickling Springs Creamery (Multiple locations)
For those who like their milkshake served with a health halo around it, the dairy from this Pennsylvania creamery comes from grass-fed, sustainably raised cows. It’s non-GMO and free of typical additives like carrageenan, sugar syrups, color, or artificial flavors. Customers can sample milkshakes at the Union Market or Eastern Market locations.
8. Shake Shack
The name says it all. Shake Shack's milkshakes are made from frozen custard in flavors like caramel and black and white. Their concretes, made with mix-ins like homegrown Astro doughnuts, are also popular.
9. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)
Any establishment with the word “shake” in the name had better make a good one, and Burger Tap & Shake does. There are 11 varieties of hand-spun milkshake flavors, plus several “shaketails” (boozy shakes) with names like the Cayman Mudslide and Oreo Speedwagon. Try the restaurant's signature BTS Shake, which combines Butterfingers, Twix, and Snickers.
10. Good Stuff Eatery (Multiple Locations)
Although its a hamburger joint, Good Stuff Eatery might be best known for its toasted marshmallow milkshake. A simple blend of toasted marshmallows, sour cream, vanilla ice cream, and milk, it’s a dead ringer for the charred treat. Other unique flavors include soursop hop strawberry and salty caramel kiss.
11. Z-Burger (Multiple Locations)
Z-Burger’s menu may seem pretty small at first with just a limited selection of burgers, dogs, cheesesteaks, and chicken. But then the ice cream section features 75 flavors of shakes and malts. The flavors run from fruit (peach, pomegranate, mango kiwi, and blackberry cobbler) to traditional sweets like birthday cake, Swiss chocolate, and s'mores.
12. Ted's Bulletin (Multiple Locations)
Ted's Bulletin is one of the most reliably good milkshake spots in the District. With eight milkshake flavors and almost as many boozy options to choose from, there is no reason not to tack a s’mores or caramel macchiato shake onto an all-day breakfast, meatloaf, or order of brick chicken.
13. The Salt Line
Finishing a shake at this riverfront seafood house is a tall order because of the glut of toppings that go on each one. For example, a fluffernutter shake has taffy and whole doughnut garnishes. —Gabe Hiatt
14. Bob & Edith's Diner (Multiple Locations)
Need a milkshake at 3 a.m.? Head to Bob & Edith’s Diner, open 24 hours (as any proper diner should be). The best shakes come with the mixing tin on the side, and that is how Bob & Edith's serves their chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, cherry, blueberry, and coffee milkshakes.
15. The Dairy Godmother
This neighborhood ice cream shop in Del Ray serves up a changing menu of custards, plus traditional vanilla and chocolate, which can be spun into creamy shakes to order. September’s feature flavors include Toll House cookie and pumpkin. Customers know to check the shop’s online “Flavor Forecast” calendar.